Antony Knights is no stranger to coffee. Having commuted to London from Ipswich for the last eight years, a morning coffee was the only thing to keep him going through the three hour round trip.
But now he has given up his nine-to-five life and is on the other side of the counter, selling coffee from his bright red Suffolk Coffee Pod, rather than buying it .
“I used to do the animated Premier League banners so spent eight years commuting to London,” said Antony, 36.
“I really wanted to find some local work but there was nothing in my field then this came up for sale and I decided to take the plunge.”
Antony’s decision to swap career and find work locally was also driven by his wife and three-year-old daughter, Amelie, who often pop to the market to see him working.
“When I was commuting, I was leaving really early in the morning and coming back quite late at night so I was only seeing my daughter on Saturday and Sunday really,” he said.
“Now I can take her to nursery and see her in the evenings and everything so that’s really great.”
In fact, it was his wife who convinced him to leave his job and take up market trading.
“I had been looking about for jobs for three years and it was her who finally told me to make the break and just go for it, which is what I did,” said Antony.
But, having only started trading at markets in April, Antony still worries about what the future holds.
“The thing is that you’re never guaranteed anything in this field of work,” he said.
“If suddenly the weather changes and it starts to rain, that’s it for our sales. You’re very much held to ransom in that sense.”
He also worries about the fact that, at the Bury market, he is surrounded by popular coffee chains such as Starbucks and Cafe Nero.
“It’s really difficult to break people’s habits and make them go to an independent place rather than Starbucks or something like that,” he said.
“But more and more people are starting to support independent traders so you just have to persevere with it.”
Despite his apprehensions, Antony is enjoying market life.
“It’s really different but it’s so nice being local and being out and about in local places again and it’s so nice to be able to balance our family life and working life because that’s something I couldn’t do before now. But I do drink far too much of the coffee,” he said.
Antony’s coffee pod is at Bury market on Wednesdays offering hot drinks and a range of whole and ground coffee beans.